STIRRUP HAND PUMP: United Kingdom. 1939-1945. The stirrup pump consisted of a hand operated pump, a water supply container such as a bucket, and a length of hose with a simple nozzle that allowed selection of either a stream or a spray of water. The pump itself was a vertical single stroke pump with a handle at the top resembling a stirrup, and a brace that extended over the side of the water container with a step plate on which the operator placed one foot to provide stability as he or she pulled the stirrup up and pushed it down. Designed as a lightweight, highly portable piece of fire fighting equipment, it was widely used by incipient fire brigades and householders.
Sources: Ogden's Cigarettes, "The Stirrup Hand Pump," in Air Raid Precautions, Number 18, cigarette card, published by the author, United Kingdom, no date (believed to be prior to World War II). "Fire Advice In War Time," location http://mysite.freeserve.com/FIREMAN/page4.html, 31 January 2002. "Stirrup Pump," location http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/human_history/forties/forties%2006.htm, accessed 17 August 2003.
Entry 0394 - posted 18 August 2003